Credit Union Central of British Columbia

Credit Union Central of British Columbia

October 18, 2007 09:00 ET

Credit Union Central of British Columbia: B.C. Credit Unions' Annual Community Giving Nears $17 Million

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 18, 2007) - B.C. credit unions gave more than $16.9 million to their communities in 2006, according to a national Community Involvement Survey conducted annually for Credit Union Central of Canada.

"Credit unions have had record financial performance in B.C.'s strong economy in recent years, and they have shown their willingness to share this success with their communities," says Linda Archer, Vice-President, Human Resources and Marketing, for Credit Union Central of British Columbia. "In fact, B.C. credit unions' annual giving has grown by more than 50 per cent over the past five years."

Archer noted that B.C. credit unions had combined pre-tax earnings of $260 million last year. At $16.9 million, their community giving represented 6.5 per cent of earnings, far exceeding the one per cent benchmark recommended by the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy through its national Imagine Caring program.

Credit union community giving comes in various forms, including donations and sponsorships, scholarships and bursaries, disbursements by credit unions' charitable foundations, and waived or reduced service charges for community organizations that hold accounts with credit unions.

Cash donations and sponsorships in B.C. amounted to nearly $12 million last year, and credit unions channelled a further $3.2 million to their own charitable foundations for disbursement to community causes. In-kind donations topped $500,000.

The survey revealed that 92 per cent of B.C. credit unions offer scholarship or bursary programs for local students, which awarded more than $450,000 last year.

B.C. credit unions contributed $700,000 to charitable organizations last year by reducing or waiving service charges or providing various financial services.

As well as providing direct financial donations, credit unions recognize the value that their staff can bring to community initiatives. More than half of B.C.'s credit unions allow their employees to participate in such activities as part of their paid work.

The survey was conducted by Probe Research and VisionCritical Communications from mid-May to mid-July of this year, on behalf of Credit Union Central of Canada. Respondents to the online questionnaire consisted of credit union chief executive officers, general managers and marketing managers.

B.C. has 50 credit unions, which have a combined $40 billion in assets and over 1.6 million members. They operate 367 branches in 139 communities, including 40 that have no other financial institution. The credit union system employs more than 8,000 British Columbians.

Contact Information

  • Credit Union Central of British Columbia
    Linda Archer
    Vice-President, Human Resources and Marketing
    (604) 737-5068